W3C

TPAC 2007 – Making Video a First-Class Citizen of the Web

After an entertaining and though-provoking session of lightning talks featuring (among others) fonts on the Web, efficient XML interchange and a dog in a plane cockpit, we return to the panel format for a discussion on “Making Video a First-Class Citizen of the Web”.

Video on the Web is exploding. Philippe le Hegaret tells us that while TV as a primary media device is declining,video hardware and encoding are becoming easier and cheaper. Heaps of content are made every second, and millions of niche markets are waiting to be fed moving images. Yet with all this explosion, there are still a number of issues, mainly dealing with user experience. How does one search inside video content? Make it accessible, rich, fun?

Panelists seem to be approaching the question of video on the web from very different perspectives. One is looking at p2p technologies for a robust video delivery architecture. Another demoes native (look, ma! no flash player) video support in browsers, using open and free codecs, both with <video> in HTML and SVG video effects: realtime clipping, reflection effects, filtering… The demos are using recent development snapshots of different browsers.

Accessibility looks tricky: one of the panelist does try to address some possibilities. The level of awareness on the issues does seem healthy: there is a real need for reliable and flexible captions, bandwith control, accessibility options. But the solutions seem few so far, other than end-to-end proprietary solutions.

What then? The upcoming W3C Video on the Web Workshop will be an opportunity for experts to bring in some proposals, and shape future work on the standardization and development of video on the Web.